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Don't forget about teachers and administrators

By Joe Centers • Feb 27, 2018 at 12:00 PM

The Three Rs:

Wikipedia explains it this way:

This article is about the abbreviation for reading, writing and arithmetic. 

The three Rs (as in the letter R) refers to the foundations of a basic, skills-oriented education program in schools: reading, writing and arithmetic. It appeared in print as a space-filler in "The Lady's Magazine" for 1818, although it is widely quoted as arising from a phrase coined in a speech given by Sir William Curtis, Member of Parliament, in about 1795. Since its original creation, many others have used the term to describe other trifecta.

 

Is it time we make it the four Rs — reading, writing, arithmetic and rifles?

President Donald Trump is proposing arming teachers with guns to protect the schools.

Norwalk City Councilman Steve Schumm spent 46 years in education — 42 of them as a principal or an administrator, including New London, Norwalk Catholic School, Bellevue and Huron St. Peter’s.

“I’ve been around the block,” he said.

What does he think about the president’s proposal? 

“I guess I will put it this way. When you have a situation that is this important I think you look at every option,” Schumm said. “I think it is a trial balloon. I don’t think it’s something that is going to happen. I think you throw it out there as a trial balloon.

“This isn’t the first time this option has been brought up. They have talked about this before. It’s nothing new.”

Is he in favor of arming teachers? “No,” he said.

Schumm is well aware of the problems in schools. 

“I put all of the security systems into the Belleue district 10 years ago,” he said.

“I am concerned about the teachers, too. When the teachers wanted to negotiate their contract, they wanted to negotiate something into it about their safety. Right now the students are the focus, but you also have the situation where you would have an outraged parent or adult who would come into the school who would threaten the teachers, too.

“We have to do something for the students, but also the school personnel. I am looking at the scope of this thing.”

Schumm said 25 years ago he was on the state’s advisory board for administrators and the main focus was on big-city schools.

“I remember students driving trucks to school with a gun rack on the back window,” he said. “You don’t have that in the big cities.”

In other words, it could happen anywhere.

“There are domestic situations and family problems,” he said.

Schumm said administrators, especially, have to deal with outraged parents coming into their office. He said the key is having two doors in your office — “door in and door out” — just in case something happens.

“You are always going to have tenuous situations.”

What can be done to protect the schools?

“The first thing I would do before I would arm the teachers I would probably have secutity in the building,” Schumm said. “The question is, will the people pay for this?

“That would be a good question. Would people be willing to pay for security in the schools? I think if you were a student you would think twice about bringing a weapon into the building if there was security in the building.”

Joe Centers is Reflector managing editor. He can be reached at jcenters@norwalkreflector.com.

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